XLIFF Localization Standard Gains International Acceptance with Approvals from OASIS and ISO

IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SDL, Trinity College Dublin (ADAPT), and Others Advance Interoperability Standard for Commercial and Open Source Localization Tools

7 March 2018 – The XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) XLIFF 2.1 has been approved by the OASIS open development organization as an official OASIS Standard, a status that signifies the highest level of ratification.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has also approved XLIFF for release under the designation 'ISO 21720:2017'.

XLIFF gives any multilingual content owner a single interchange file format that can be understood by any localization provider, using any conformant localization tool. XLIFF has the power to improve translation practices for documents, websites, product interfaces, and anywhere text resides.

"These approvals validate what the international community has known for some time—XLIFF is a key component of any efficient localization eco-system," said Bryan Schnabel, chair of the OASIS XLIFF Technical Committee. "We are gratified by the international recognition given to XLIFF by ISO and by the OASIS membership at-large."

XLIFF is designed for both simplicity and extensibility. Its robust core takes translatable content from a source format into a format that can be easily translated with Computer Aided Translation tools. XLIFF also supports a range of modules that address advanced translation challenges, including Translation Memory, Translation Glossary, Segmentation Metadata, Advanced Validations, Word Counts, and more.

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) applauded XLIFF’s approval. GALA’s Executive Director, Laura Brandon, noted, "GALA is excited to be a collaborator in the international XLIFF community. We intend to contribute developments on extraction and merging guidance from our new Translation API Cases and Classes (TAPICC) initiative."

"XLIFF 2.1 is an essential part of our continuous globalization foundation to provide responsive localization supply chain in a cost-effective way to content and software on IBM Cloud,” said Helena Shih Chapman, Director, IBM Globalization Executive.

XLIFF is available for implementation on a royalty-free basis. Companies, non-profit groups, governments, academic institutions, and individuals are welcome to participate in the OASIS XLIFF Technical Committee.

Additional information
  • XLIFF 2.1 OASIS Standard
  • ISO 21720:2017 
  • OASIS XLIFF Technical Committee



OASIS is a nonprofit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open standards for the global information society. OASIS promotes industry consensus and produces worldwide standards for cybersecurity, privacy, cloud computing, IoT, SmartGrid, and other areas. OASIS open standards offer the potential to lower cost, stimulate innovation, grow global markets, and protect the right of free choice of technology. OASIS members broadly represent the marketplace of public and private sector technology leaders, users, and influencers. The consortium has more than 5,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 65+ countries.

Press contact: communications@oasis-open.org +1.941.284.0403